SEATTLE – [COLOR=#366388! important][COLOR=#366388! important]Ken [COLOR=#366388! important]Griffey [/COLOR][COLOR=#366388! important]Jr[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]
. retired Wednesday night, ending one of the great careers in baseball history.
The 40-year-old Griffey told the Mariners that he was done playing, and manager Don Wakamatsu made the announcement before Seattle faced Minnesota.
"While I feel I am still able to make a contribution on the field and nobody in the Mariners front office has asked me to retire, I told the Mariners when I met with them prior to the 2009 season and was invited back that I will never allow myself to become a distraction," Griffey said in a statement.
"I feel that without enough occasional starts to be sharper coming off the bench, my continued presence as a player would be an unfair distraction to my teammates and their success as a team is what the ultimate goal should be," he said.
Griffey was hitting only .184 with no homers and seven RBIs this year and recently went a week without playing. There was a report earlier this season — which Griffey denied — that he'd fallen asleep in the clubhouse during a game.
Griffey was a perennial All-Star outfielder and ranks fifth on the [COLOR=#366388! important][COLOR=#366388! important]career [COLOR=#366388! important]home[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]
run list with 630. He won an MVP award and was a Gold Glover. The only thing missing on his resume was a trip to the World Series.
A star from the get-go, he played 22 years in the majors with Seattle, his hometown Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox. He hit .284 lifetime with 1,836 RBIs.